- Mercedes Ingram, PhD, LPC, Assistant Director of Population Health, Zero Suicide Evaluator, University Health, San Antonio, TX
The U.S. National Strategy for Suicide Prevention calls for communities to identify supportive structures that encourage efficient and sustainable suicide prevention programming (HHS & Action Alliance, 2012). Implementing an evidence-based suicide prevention model, Zero Suicide, in a health system during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a more sustainable approach in training clinical and non-clinical workforce. Skills will be taught around using technology in primary care to prevent suicides. By leveraging existing webhosting technologies, we removed barriers during COVID-19 to maximize opportunities to increase number of staff trained in the life-saving intervention Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR Institute, 2022). Utilizing established organizational infrastructure such as an internal online training library, new onboarding staff, residents, and trainees can quickly and efficiently complete trainings for mental health screenings and assessments on-demand. By making these trainings virtual they are now sustainable and can continue to be evaluated through electronic reporting tools. Feedback on screening, assessment, and referral data is regularly provided to primary care clinics to review and improve patient outcomes. Updated policies and procedures around suicide prevention are provided during virtual continuous quality improvement meetings. Electronic Workforce Development Surveys (Education Development Center, 2021a) are completed annually to gauge staff knowledge and skills around suicide prevention. Resulting data also informs future training needs and helps match trainings that are provided to staff. The Organizational Self-Study (EDC, 2021b) is completed by leadership to measure Zero Suicide data elements. This data illuminates areas of insufficiency and assists in planning recommended actions for change. The use of online trainings and electronic evaluations tools allows for sustainable suicide prevention efforts by large health systems for years to come.
- Identify 3 uses of technology to produces sustainable suicide prevention services.
- Describe how webhosting technologies support large-scale training of clinical and non-clinical staff in suicide prevention.
- List 4 electronic evaluations tools used to measure the effectiveness of Zero Suicide program implementation.